Ian Murdock (1973 – 2015)¹

Ian Murdock, founder of the Debian project, has passed away at 42.

As many of you know, Ubuntu is a Debian-based distribution and owes a great deal of its success to the incredible work of Ian Murdock and all the Debian contributors who’ve worked tirelessly to make it an excellent free and open source project and one of the best operating systems out there.

As mentioned in the Docker blog post, Ian’s work has included many other parts of the free and open source community, including his role as CTO of the Linux Foundation, lead of Project Indiana at Sun, and a recent addition to the Docker team – among many other positions and achievements.

For many of us, Debian was one of our first experiences with Linux and, indeed, with any operating system outside whatever shipped with our hardware by default. Debian was the first Linux distribution I used regularly on an ancient blueberry iMac and the only OS it ran for almost a decade. It was the distro that taught me how to make the most out of 333 glorious megahertz, compile obscure UI libraries for PowerPC, adjust X11 modelines by hand, and, most importantly, recover from a misconfigured modeline.

Our hearts go out to Ian’s family and friends and to the vast communities built around all the great projects he’s founded and contributed to.

Here’s to you, Ian.


¹ Photo by Ilya Schurov, Computerra Weekly CC BY 2.0